New to cargo bikes, or thinking of buying one for you or your business? With different types of cargo bikes on the market, choosing the right one can be a challenge.
If you’re investing in a cargo bike, you’ll want to keep it safe. So, whether you’re locking your bike at home or on the go, here’s our guide on cargo bikes, how to lock them, and the best cargo bike lock for your needs.
Why use a Cargo bike?
A cargo bike is the ideal option for those who don’t have a car, want to sell their car, or would like to use it less. Thanks to more investment in cycling and improvements to infrastructure, cargo bikes are rising in popularity.
So, why use one? Here are just a few reasons:
Save money, time, and stress wherever you need to go. Avoid traffic jams and fuel costs by loading up the cargo bike and heading off on your journey.
One great example of this would be the team behind Pedal Me, a company who uses cargo bikes to taxi people (and cargo) around London!
Cargo bikes are becoming increasingly popular with businesses. Avoid congestion charges, traffic and be more environmentally friendly! With a cargo bike you can make several deliveries to customers and save money whilst doing so.
There are multiple bike courier services around the UK, including Velocious, a company that have been using cargo bikes to make deliveries across Bristol since 2015.
Take your children to school, to the park, or out for lunch. Wherever you need to go, a cargo bike will allow you to travel with your children.
Load up everything you need and commute to work with less stress. You can do almost everything you would do with a car, so why not consider commuting by cargo bike?
Shopping with a cargo bike means avoiding traffic, seeing new places, and not struggling to find parking at the shops. We would advise you check there’s somewhere secure to lock your bike before you visit, but most shops have cycle parking available.
Cargo bikes can be used for so many industries. In fact, TFL worked with FM Conway to see how viable it would be to use cargo bikes for the construction industry. The idea of using alternative means of transport can be daunting, but it is possible. Back in 2021, a plumber from Cardiff sold his van and now uses a cargo bike to get to jobs around the city.
Even if you don’t get rid of your car or van, reducing the number of journeys you take will benefit the environment and save money on running costs.
When choosing your cargo bike, the first thing to consider is whether you’d like an electric cargo bike or not. In most instances, especially if you live in an area with hills, we recommend opting for an e-cargo bike.
Different types of cargo bikes
This isn’t an exhaustive or comprehensive list. There are many different types of cargo bike available with different loading capabilities. Some are front loaders that carry things at the front, others are rear loaders, carrying loads at the rear. There are also trike cargo bikes available.
Before choosing a cargo bike, ask yourself how much space you need (for transport and storage), what cargo you’ll be carrying, whether it will replace your vehicle, what your budget is, and how far you’ll be riding.
Here are some of the more common types of cargo bikes:
Longtails have an extended rear end. They are often described as a cargo bike that feels most like riding a ‘normal’ bicycle. Perfect for carrying a passenger or load behind you as you ride. Longtails are typically more agile and easier to transport or store.
Bakfiets, also known as Box bikes, have a cargo area at the front of the bike. Depending on the type of bike, you can carry cargo, children, dogs and more.
Locking your cargo bike
If you’ve popped to the shops, or you’re leaving your bike for any length of time, making sure it’s safe and secure is priority. Below is a guide on locking your cargo bike including what locks we would recommend for and how to lock them.
Best lock for a cargo bike
For most cargo bikes we would recommend our Core Plus. Why? The Core Plus is Sold Secure Diamond lock offering you maximum security. The Core Plus is the best lock for a cargo bike in high-risk areas, or if you plan to leave your bike for extended periods.
The Core Plus is available in two sizes 75cm or 100cm. For cargo bikes we would recommend getting the 100cm lock to give you extended range, especially if you have a battery. With this size you should be able to secure the frame and wheel around a fixed object. The Core Plus 75cm is wearable too, so if your bike is full, you don’t have to worry about space, you simply wear it around your waist.
Where possible, we’d always recommend using more than one lock. Why not pair a Core lock with one of our Go Flexi-O locks? It’s lightweight, wearable (or mountable) and great for extra security.
Browse our complete bike lock range.
What to lock your cargo bike to
This will differ slightly, depending on what type of cargo bike you have. Even if the place you’re riding to has secure bike parking, we’d always recommend locking your bike for extra security (and to make sure you’re covered by your insurance if the worst should happen).
Tip: If you’re going to lock your cargo bike to railings, try to secure the lock to as many railings as you can, and don’t leave your bike there for too long.
When locking your cargo bike, you’ll want to find something secure. If there’s no bike rack available, look for something solid like a lamp post or something secured to the ground. Always try to lock your bike somewhere busy with CCTV if possible.
When storing your bike at home, look at the policy wording on your insurance to see what you’re covered for. For example, your insurance will specify which type of lock you need to use (depending on the value of your bike) and where your bike needs to be kept.
Tip: If you can’t find insurance that will cover you if you leave your cargo bike outside, there are specialist cargo bike insurance policies available.
How to lock your cargo bike
To lock your cargo bike, follow these steps:
- Always make sure you lock your bike through the wheel and frame to a solid, anchored object.
- Where possible, use a second lock to secure the second wheel and frame (try to secure it around your e-bike battery if it’s not removable).
- If your battery is removable, take it with you when you lock your bike. We also recommend taking accessories such as lights too.
- Make the lock as inaccessible as possible. If it’s an inconvenience for you, it’s going to be the same for someone looking to steal your cargo bike. For example, consider locking the bike with the keyhole facing down to make it harder to sabotage.
If you’ve spent a lot of money on a cargo bike and rely on it for getting around, getting the best lock you can afford is a great investment. LITELOK bike locks are flexible, simple to use, and easy to carry. It’s important to us that we’re doing what we can to help keep bikes safe.